SCOTTISH Tory MPs voted to cut the UK's international aid despite claiming just 12 months before that the higher level of funding "saves lives", the National can reveal.

John Lamont had said in June last year that the UK Government was right to maintain the commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) – despite the fact Lamont, along with all other Scottish Tory MPs, voted yesterday to slash the foreign aid budget to 0.5% of GNI.

Lamont tweeted: "It is right that @GOVUK keeps our commitment to spend 0.7% GNI on international aid. This saves and improves lives across the globe. Very welcome news to see the Scottish DFID jobs at East Kilbride protected as well."

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The Tories voted last night to cut the foreign aid budget by almost £4 billion despite warnings from charities that it will risk thousands of lives in the poorest parts of the world.

The Tories saw off a revolt of 25 of their own MPs, including former prime minister Theresa May as well as condemnation from former prime ministers David Cameron and John Major and former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, winning the vote by 333 to 298.

But the MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk wasn't the only Scottish Tory MP to have his words come back to haunt him as Andrew Bowie also stated in 2020 that he was "proud to defend" the Tory commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on foreign aid. 

In a tweet from June last year, Bowie said: "Very proud to defend the fact that we are one of only six countries to consistently meet our commitment to spend 0.7% GDP on Foreign Aid. As we will continue to do more effectively now."

The West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP saw furious backlash from social media users. 

One user asked: "Hang on. You’ve just voted to scrap this. What changed your mind? Johnson tell you which way to vote?"

Bowie is yet to respond to any of the criticism.

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The vote comes despite a manifesto commitment from the Tories to maintain the current level of foreign aid.

The 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto pledged: “We will proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on development, and do more to help countries receiving aid become self-sufficient.”

The 2017 manifesto promised: "Global leadership on development, backed by spending 0.7% of our national income with new rules to spend it more effectively."

The National has approached the Scottish Conservatives for comment.